Let me begin by throwing some hard core carnal realities out there for your consideration: anger, hatred, aggression, addiction, broken marriages, divorce, indebtedness, child abuse, spousal abuse, adultery, lasciviousness, perversion, anxiety, depression, suicide, thievery, greed, envy, lust, compulsion, covetousness, slander, prejudice, oppression, bullying, brokenness, fearfulness, victim-hood, rape, incest, arrogance, pride, falsification, deceitfulness... (the list could go on and on). These are nearly monolithic structures that have their beginning long before us and will likely have their endings long after us. We are all adversely affected by them in some manner no doubt; some of us affected most severely. We are likely participatory (willingly/unwillingly) in them to an uncertain extent as well, though we think ourselves not to be. We excuse ourselves from them, we exhort ourselves against them, we imagine ourselves to be victorious in part over them employing the same carnal mind and it's carnal ways with little or no actual carnal result.
Let me now throw out some competing Christian concepts while we are at this frightful consideration: regeneration, change, old/new, new birth, sanctification, redemption, forgiveness, cleansing, deliverance, escaping corruption, set at liberty, restoration, adoption, inheritance, dead to self/alive to Christ, sons and daughters in Christ, edification, prayers, promise, abundant grace, unwarranted mercy, partaking of divine nature, temples of the Holy Spirit, vessels onto honor, calling to glory and virtue, peace, here and hereafter... (to mention but a few). What then does one have to do with the other? Is the carnal here to keep us from obtaining the spiritual? or is the spiritual here to get us beyond the carnal? Is the spiritual something future that we are waiting to somehow someday possess? or is the spiritual here and now, something already here to employ?
I ask this because of the many people that today struggle somewhere in the midst between such imposing carnal realities and such nearly fruitless spiritual faith against them. Not surprisingly though, many of these same people hold to popular notions of Christian belief. I had to ask myself "How can this be"? Is it the bible to blame? or our popular notions of belief?
Immediately, I was first drawn to the Apostle Peter's "like precious faith" discourse in nkjv@2Peter:1 because of it's direct outline of an abundant fruitful faith and not "lacking" in it. As I placed more and more scriptural context onto it's key components, I found more and more practical use of it; uses that I would like to share with anyone going through such a struggle as have I.
Now I by no means wish to portray myself as one having mastered such "like precious" faith, but as a pilgrim so to speak early on it's course with something perhaps to say about the directions it has already lead me. Neither am I a Pastor nor professional council, so I advise you to thoroughly prove out these directions I have taken scripturally. I shall point you to the scriptures as I have found them as a serviceable starting point. I believe that this exercise will be well worth your consideration else I would not have published it for anybody else's use.
Perhaps you may know someone specifically that you are trying to steer in the right spiritual direction. You have yet to find the right resource to approach them with. That person may even be yourself. Regardless, we all start at one easy to come back to place in the Bible: nkjv@2Peter:1
Surveying it intially, the chapter divides nicely into three distinct sections that you can mark in your Bible:
kjv@2Peter:1:1-4 The core foundational "like precious" belief - FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith where we can look into these further spiritual necessities that are meant to add to and build upon our salvation, that liberate/transform ourselves and our directions from the otherwise inescapable direction the world itself will take.
kjv@2Peter:1:5-11 The means of applying the core foundation to daily living - ApplicationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith. Having then been transformed foundation-ally at the core we begin to consider the new course to which we place all our regenerated diligences and energies.
kjv@2Peter:1:12-27 The reasoning we put these foundational elements into constant remembrance and put them forward in our lives JustificationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith. Understanding better why it is Christ has us do this a different and new way. How easy and natural it is for us to slip back into what we would rather be doing.
We will be taking the many points in this text and anchoring a whole lot of other scriptural context to them in the hopes of opening ourselves to the more particle employment of such a scriptural faith against our present realities. For Online Version Readers: Helpful hint: Click on verse numbers once then once again to get to a parallel rendering of the KJV with Strongs Greek Lexicon mapping and Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge links. (try it now kjv@2Peter:1:1) Helpful hint: Click on the underlined words and phrases to get to the Seeker search page for that word or phrase. There you will find a wealth of resources such as dictionaries and system look ups. (try it now Peter)
kjv@2Peter:1:1@ Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
kjv@2Peter:1:2@ Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
kjv@2Peter:1:3@ According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
kjv@2Peter:1:4@ Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
kjv@2Peter:1:5@ And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
kjv@2Peter:1:6@ And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
kjv@2Peter:1:7@ And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
kjv@2Peter:1:8@ For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
kjv@2Peter:1:9@ But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
kjv@2Peter:1:10@ Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
kjv@2Peter:1:11@ For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
kjv@2Peter:1:12@ Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
kjv@2Peter:1:13@ Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
kjv@2Peter:1:14@ Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
kjv@2Peter:1:15@ Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
kjv@2Peter:1:16@ For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
kjv@2Peter:1:17@ For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
kjv@2Peter:1:18@ And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
kjv@2Peter:1:19@ We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
kjv@2Peter:1:20@ Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
kjv@2Peter:1:21@ For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.